The activities of SALAR are numerous and varied, both within Sweden and on the international scene.
The European Perspective
As EU legislation and policies have a substantial impact on local and regional government in Sweden, the European and international perspectives have been mainstreamed into the day-to-day work of the Association. Each division is in charge of public affairs and policy monitoring within its respective field.
European and worldwide co-operation
The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions plays an active role in a number of different platforms and organisations at European and international level.
In the EU Committee of the Regions, Sweden is represented by politicians elected to municipal, county council and regional assemblies. The Committee is an advisory body and an important political channel to influence decisions taken by the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. Other important platforms for SALAR include the employers' organisation CEEP and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is also a member of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) within the Council of Europe.
Twin towns for local development
More than 200 of Sweden's 290 municipalities are twinned with counterparts in the Baltic region and in Central and Eastern Europe. Twinning allows for an extensive exchange of knowledge and experience between the towns/cities concerned, and many personal ties are being created across national borders. Most of the twin-town links - and indeed the oldest - are still with towns in Denmark, Norway and Finland and in these cases, the exchanges focus largely on cultural activities.